Three people will split the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for their role in ushering in a revolution in lighting, the prize committee announced today.
Two Japanese citizens, Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, and American Shuji Nakamura garnered science’s top honor for developing a light-emitting diode (LED) bulb that could produce bright blue light.
The innovation made it possible to generate clean white light from LEDs, which until then had been able to make light from longer infrared wavelengths to red and green. White light is made from combining red, green and blue wavelengths.
“Using blue LEDs, white light can be created in a new way,” the committee wrote in their announcement. “With the advent of LED lamps we now have more long-lasting and more efficient alternatives to older light sources.”